Test operation of New Sei-katsu-sha Research Solutions begins

Mar. 29, 2023
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Supporting cross-border marketing with data on the 700 million users of two of China’s biggest platforms

Tokyo—March 29, 2023—A three-way partnership consisting of Hakuhodo DY Holdings Inc.’s R&D arm the Marketing Technology Center (MTC), D.A.Consortium Inc. (DAC), and H.M. Marketing Research, Inc. is pleased to announce the development of New Sei-katsu-sha* Research Solutions, which supports cross-border marketing from Japan to Asia. Test operation has now commenced.

With many countries relaxing restrictions on overseas travel, inbound tourism to Japan is expected to bounce back. Meanwhile, the inbound market is changing significantly as Japanese firms initiate and expand operations in the cross-border e-commerce sector. Visitors from abroad who take a liking to a particular brand or product during their stay in Japan can now purchase it in their own country on returning home. Thus inbound tourism marketing is evolving into cross-border marketing, especially with the recent growth of social media marketing. Japanese companies can remain engaged with visitors from abroad even after they leave Japan. They can then leverage that engagement to lure them back. They can also take advantage of it to expand their business overseas through outbound marketing.

But many companies lack sufficient knowledge of cross-border marketing and have yet to take adequate steps in the field. They face several challenges: gathering valid data, performing research on sei-katsu-sha, and formulating a marketing strategy that makes effective use of both.

To address these challenges, MTC has developed New Sei-katsu-sha Research Solutions. This set of solutions ushers in a new approach to research on sei-katsu-sha by leveraging various sei-katsu-sha touchpoints and behavioral data in the funnel, such as online and offline, or before, during, and after visiting Japan. It involves partnering with major platforms and telecommunications companies in different areas of Asia that possess big data on sei-katsu-sha.

The first set of New Sei-katsu-sha Research Solutions is based on data on the approximately 700 million users of Meituan and Dianping, two of China’s largest life services online search platforms, which are both operated by Chinese life services company Meituan.

Hallmarks of New Sei-katsu-sha Research Solutions leveraging the Meituan and Dianping platforms

  • Data analysis, research design, and consulting on Chinese sei-katsu-sha

• Subjects suited to the field of marketing in question are selected from online and offline behavioral data on Meituan and Dianping users. Research is then conducted with their consent as obtained by a means consistent with the requirements of both the Chinese and Japanese personal information protection acts. This research supports inbound and outbound marketing to Chinese sei-katsu-sha by forecasting their consumer wants and behavior.

• E-commerce marketing consulting is provided to companies considering embarking on cross-border e-commerce to China. This begins with gauging Chinese sei-katsu-sha’s receptivity to different products and concepts and analyzing relevant data. Advice is offered on such approaches as opening a brand outlet on the Meituan e-commerce platform.

  • Seamless inbound marketing from pre-visit to post-visit

• Before tourists arrive in Japan, facilities, stores, and event sites in Japan are marketed to them based on Meituan and Dianping user data, and visits are monitored.

• Target subjects are selected from Meituan and Dianping users who show an interest in a specific brand or product after visiting Japan. Questionnaires are then administered to them, and they are approached individually with the goal of keeping them coming back.

  • Approaching overseas tourists in real time during their visit to Japan

• Target subjects are selected from Meituan or Dianping users who make use of the apps during their visit to Japan, and they are sent coupons and shown ads in real time.

• Support is provided to companies seeking to promote consumption or attract visitors to specific destinations, with questionnaires being administered to visitors based on monitoring of their visits.

New Sei-katsu-sha Research Solutions brings together the strengths of the three partners: MTC’s overseas marketing research expertise, plus its prowess at leveraging sei-katsu-sha data into marketing solutions; DAC’s overseas network, plus its data marketing management knowledge and structures; and H.M. Marketing Research’s expertise in studying sei-katsu-sha outside Japan, plus its research implementation framework. As a united team, all three will provide seamless support across the board, including support with collecting and analyzing data and formulating a marketing strategy.

MTC, DAC, and H.M. Marketing Research will continue working together on developing solutions targeting visitors and prospective visitors to Japan from abroad. They will tailor those solutions to the specific needs of Japanese companies seeking to increase inbound tourism to Japan or to grow their overseas business and revenues.


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* “Sei-katsu-sha” is a term we use to describe people not simply as consumers, but as fully rounded individuals with their own lifestyles, aspirations and dreams.

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